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Bioessays. 1996 Sep;18(9):719-30.

Connexins in mammalian heart function.

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Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille, Laboratoire de Génétique et Physiologie du Développement, UMR C9943, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


In heart, the propagation of electrical activity is mediated by intercellular channels, referred to as junctional channels, aggregated into gap junctions and localised between myocytes. These channels consist of structurally related transmembrane proteins, the connexins, three of which (CX43, CX40 and CX45) have been shown to be associated with the myocytes of mammalian heart; a fourth, CX37, was detected exclusively in endothelial cells. In this paper, we review the recent data dealing with the topographical heterogeneity of expression of these connexins in the different cardiac tissues and the unique conductance properties of the channels they form, and attempt to assess the role played by each connexin and the consequences of their multiplicity in the propagation of action potentials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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